French Chic at a Certain Age: The power of black a la Juliette Binoche… not so basic!
Basic black becomes beautiful black when it’s worn in the right French Chic way…
It’s funny how there are photos of us that almost instantly look dated and others that have timeless perfection. What we are wearing plays a huge part in what sustains looking chic and vital rather than overdone and garish.
Take for instance, the style power and endurance of perennially black clad Juliette Binoche and Malgorzarta Szumowska pictured here.
>> Day One of the three-part FoS series Ageless & Age-Appropriate French Chic At A Certain Age
Let’s think about this: every season there is a trend color; something eye-catching to refuel your need to buy something new. You wear that color. Like this season’s trendy shade of coralish-roseish-tangerine formerly rightly reserved as the lipstick shade of canasta-playing ladies in Boca. You succumb to buying that peculiar trend shade of the season.
You feel refreshed in the ”newness” of said trend color and that’s good.
But suddenly you become sick of it and think back to those Boca lips and have a large “what was I thinking” moment. The trend color spoils.
French women know this. That’s why they invest in black.
Particularly, honoring the power of well-cut geometric pieces in better-than basic black.
Case in point: the elongated motorcycle jacket, a timeless silhouette, that Juliette Binoche is wearing. She looks chic doesn’t she? Bet you can’t tell what season her jacket is from? The crisp white blouse adds light to her face. She doesn’t look old or trying too hard. That’s the point.
>> On A Budget? Check out our Black Fashion Under $100 Shopping Guide
See the same look worked for Anne Fontaine and Audrey Tautou a couple of years ago. It’s the French Chic formula of wearing the right classic with the right cut to always look chic, elegant and subtle- which is the hallmark to how to dress French.
As for the 3/4 bell sleeve LBD that Malgorzarta Szumowska is wearing- it’s a fantastic and feminine length sleeve that covers up arms, when need be, and shows enough skin to be a beautiful year-round length. If you need some styling help, you may want to watch my how to accessorize a black dress video.
Oh, if you’re still craving some kooky color in your wardrobe, try a new nail color, scarf, belt, bag or shoe to add a pop of color that doesn’t drown you.
Resident fashion expert & style mentor- With just about 20 years experience in the glamour industry as a New York-based photography fashion stylist, syndicated columnist, contributing editor, lecturer, on-air television/radio fashion expert, and founder / editor in chief of FocusOnStyle.com. Sharon Haver knows the modern-thinking woman wants easygoing style that suits her individual needs, spiced with just the right amount of flip and wit to make it personal.